Begin with the End in Mind

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Alright folks, it's about to get pretty serious here.

It's been over a year since I've last posted and there are a lot of contributing reasons why I took a break. Out of all the reasons, there's only one that I think is important for me to address in my first post of 2018.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

"In your mind's eye, see yourself going to the funeral of a loved one. Picture yourself driving to the funeral parlor or chapel, parking the car, and getting out. As you walk inside the building, you notice the flowers, the soft organ music. You see the faces of friends and family you pass along the way. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts of the people there. 

As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself. This is your funeral, three years from today. All these people have come to honor you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life.

As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand. There are to be four speakers... Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? ... What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? Look carefully at the people around you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives?"

Not sure if you've read similar prompts before. These visualization activities are meant to help you think about who you are and what you want to achieve in life. To be totally honest, it feels a little cheesy right?

Well, last year, I didn't have to just imagine what it was like to go through the death and funeral of a loved one. I experienced it in real life. Twice.

The sudden passing of my dear Uncle Kent and my cousin-in-law Mark both affected me deeply. I spent a lot of time in the last 18 months grieving and reflecting on my relationships with them; how they have both individually impacted my life and the lives of those around them.
[Insert card to make this a little bit less heavy] 

Emotionally, I'm feeling a lot better now.

Spiritually, I'm still kind of a hot mess and I expect it to be a much longer healing and growing process. The last year has been great for some much needed introspection and now I finally feel like I'm ready to share some of that with you.

Since last year, I've taken the mindset of "begin with the end in mind" a lot more seriously. There's nothing like grappling with death and funerals to really slap some perspective into your life. I've eluded to how I've been rethinking my content strategy for a while now.  I'm still trying to figure out what the end looks like (sorry, morbid but keeping it honest).  With such an overwhelming thought, it's easier to start by figuring out what I don't want to be remembered for. "Shelly took amazing food pics" somehow doesn't seem to land on my list of priorities.

Shit's about to get real, I hope you're ready!

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